Like Bret Easton Ellis, Whit Stillman is interested in the hazy, dreamlike world of the New York yuppie—the "young, upwardly-mobile professional," as defined here by Dez, employee of The Club, NY's hottest nightspot circa 1980.
Stillman's clearly a romantic in terms of the richness and texture of the language he puts in his characters' mouths. "You're not gay," Charlotte tells Dez, "but you....you have a gay mouth." Later, she tells Dez, "You're not fit to lick the boots of my real gay friends." The dialogue is deliciously effervescent—the lines snap, crackle and pop with cadence and music.
Which isn't to say anything is lost in story. Stillman's down-the-rabbit-hole plot tosses naive Alice into the backstabbing world of female friendship. Like all good movie heroines, these women are book editors—or will be. With their friends and coworkers, they criticize censorship and blind capitalism and—at one critical point—decode Lady and the Tramp as a tool to brainwash young women into falling for bad boys, the ones who inevitably end up "chasing tail" all around the neighborhood.
With a dead-on soundtrack and career making performances from Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny (Chloe Sevigny! How can you not love this film?!), and Mackenzie Astin, Stillman's New York takes us back to a time when even economics were simple: how do you like it? More, more, more.